The Gastronomic Heart of Italy


With its roots tracing back to Ancient Rome, Italian cuisine is an essential part of the fabric of Italian culture. Join us as we explore and discover both the culture and cuisine of the northern gastronomic heart of Italy. From the delights of Tuscany to the Emilia-Romagna region, there’s an incredible array of both exciting and tantalisingly tasty experiences to enjoy. Sample the delicious Parma and Prosciutto ham before embarking on a discovery of the breathtaking city of Florence, enjoy a pasta-making experience and even a spot of wine tasting on this incredible culinary exploration.

What's Included:

  • 11 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • 9 evening meals
  • Convenient coach joining points

Full Itinerary

Day 1: UK to France

Local departure by coach or Door-to-Door service, then travel to northern France for an overnight stay.

Day 2: France to Milan

Continue to our hotel in the Milan area for an overnight stay. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Cremona

Today, we spend time in the picturesque city of Cremona. Famous for its finely crafted violins, Cremona has a charming historic centre, where beautiful medieval and Renaissance buildings are clustered around the Piazza del Commune.

The Torrazzo is one of Europe’s tallest surviving, medieval brick towers that houses one of the world’s largest astronomical clocks.

Following time at leisure we continue to our hotel in Montecchio Emilia for a seven-night stay.

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Parma and Prosciutto Tasting

Spend the morning in the former royal city of Parma where, following an included sightseeing tour, you will have time at leisure to discover everything the city has to offer, including the French-inspired Palazzo Ducale, the wooden Teatro Farnese and the cathedral’s baptistery.

We continue with a drive to Langhirano, located at the heart of Parma Ham country, where we will learn all about the production of one of Italy’s most recognisable food products.

We will enjoy an included prosciutto tasting for those wishing to sample the local delicacy.

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Florence

Today we will travel to the Renaissance city of Florence, where there will be time at leisure to explore the endless historic sights.

See the shops in and around the centuries-old Ponte Vecchio, or even have your portrait painted by one of the street artists who usually gather in the square next to the medieval Duomo (cathedral).

During our visit, we will include a walking tour of the central market, where your guide will take you through the delightful streets of Florence, pointing out the major sights.

We will also experience a pizza-making class at a local restaurant

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Bologna & Dozza with Wine Tasting

We begin the day in Bologna, home to one of the most exquisite and best-preserved historic districts in Europe, where we will enjoy a guided tour to introduce you to this beautiful city.

The grand squares and elegant landmarks such as the ‘degli Asinelli’ and ‘della Garisenda’ towers, plus the San Petronio Basilica and the Neptune Fountain, make it a delightful place to explore on foot, and our local guide's informative commentary will reveal many of the stories behind the buildings and personalities which have shaped the history of this magnificent city.

You will have time at leisure to explore before continuing to the medieval village of Dozza, known for its castle and archetypal decorated houses. This area is known for the production of Lambrusco, and we will end our day with a visit a winery to sample the wine.

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Free Time or Pasta Making Experience

Spend the day at leisure, or join us on a visit to a family-run pasta-making business, where the owner and his wife will welcome you and show you around their surroundings, before we watch how the well-known pasta fresca is made by hand.

We will also visit a local wine cellar before enjoying a classical lunch where we can taste both the pasta and wine from our visit.

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Ferrara

Ferrara is a city that must be experienced. In every corner you will discover the character of a magnificent Renaissance capital.

The historic district, surrounded by a 9 kilometre-long city wall, can only be visited on foot or by bicycle. The historic city centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.

In Ferrara, accompanied by a certified guide, we will visit the cathedral, the basilica and the medieval historic district.

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Modena

Today we travel to the beautiful town of Modena, known for its wide arcaded streets, large squares, attractive cathedral and Ghirlandia Tower.

We include a sightseeing tour of the city before having time at leisure to explore.

This afternoon we continue to the town of Maranello, where we visit the world-famous Ferrari Museum.

We end the day with a visit to a local balsamic vinegar cellar to learn all about the traditional production techniques involved in the process to guarantee the quality of the vinegar, which like grappa, is based on grape must.

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Mantua with Tortellini Tasting

Today we visit the medieval city of Mantua. Considered one of the main artistic and cultural hubs of Northern Italy, it is renowned for both its delicious cuisine and its beautiful architectural splendour.

With a local guide, explore the beauty of the cathedral, Palazzo Ducale and other impressive buildings of the UNESCO listed historical centre.

This afternoon we continue to the idyllic hamlet of Valeggio sul Mincio, whose impressive 13th century castle is visible from miles away.

Famous for its tortellini, we will get the chance to taste this meat-filled pasta dish before continuing to the Vipiteno area where we have an overnight stay.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Northern France/Belgium

To the northern France/Belgium area for an overnight stay.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 12

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Hand Picked By

Les Bannerman

Leger holidays offer a huge selection of fully escorted holidays worldwide with travel by luxury coach, air, rail or even cruise. They offer convenient local pick-up points from many of the towns where we have MMT shops. Here, we have showcased their stunning Alpine Adventure tour aboard their Luxuria coach. Luxuria offers the ultimate level of comfort with deluxe armchair-style seats, each with its own interactive touch screen offering a wide choice of entertainment. I can’t think of a better way to travel!

Les Bannerman

Additional Information

  • Date: 14th October 2019
  • Board Basis: Mixed Meal Plan
  • Duration: 11 nights
  • Guide Price: From £1,199pp
  • £50 per person deposit and local pick up points
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